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This is pretty funny:

Erik

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http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/internet/01/19/offbeat.mike.rowe.soft.ap/index.html

Microsoft takes on teen's site MikeRoweSoft.com
Monday, January 19, 2004 Posted: 9:25 AM EST (1425 GMT)



VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- It's Microsoft versus Mike Rowe-soft.

Rowe, a 17-year-old high school senior and Web designer from Victoria, has angered the software giant by registering an Internet site with the address www.MikeRoweSoft.com.

"Since my name is Mike Rowe, I thought it would be funny to add 'soft' to the end of it," said Rowe.

Microsoft, however, is not amused.

It has demanded that he give up his domain name. In November, Rowe received a letter from Microsoft's Canadian lawyers informing him he was committing copyright infringement.

"I didn't think they would get all their high-priced lawyers to come after me," Rowe said.

He wrote back asking to be compensated for giving up his name. Microsoft's lawyers offered him $10 in U.S. funds. Then he asked for $10,000.

On Thursday, he received a 25-page letter accusing him of trying to force Microsoft into giving him a large settlement.

"I never even thought of getting anything out of them," he said, adding that he only asked for the $10,000 because he was "sort of mad at them for only offering 10 bucks."

Microsoft company spokesman Jim Desler said Sunday, "Microsoft has been in communication with Mr. Rowe in a good faith effort to reach a mutually agreeable resolution."

Rowe is keeping his sense of humor.

"It's not their name. It's my name. I just think it's kind of funny that they'd go after a 17-year-old," Rowe said.
 

carlsson

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If this story is not a hoax, it is more sad than fun. I read about it on the Register, and it said that since Mike had asked for an amount of money, it practically made his claims invalid, as anyone willing to sell a domain for money does not have genuine interest of the domain anyway.

OTOH, there is a gentleman in California who has filed a patent on how to register Internet domains, and is also according to the Register trying to force Network Solutions and the other big registrars to pay a license fee since they implement his patent. Oh, the great land of freedom.
 

CP/M User

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"carlsson" wrote:

> If this story is not a hoax, it is more sad than fun...

Speaking of which a few years ago I read about this
funny story about this lady been cut off by some
bloke (on the road). She noticed that he was selling
his car & got his phone number through that & every
once in a while she would ring this bloke up & abuse
him with some profanity.

Anyway after a while she got sick of this & was about
to give this away which another bloke cut her off (on
the road again & again she was able to get his phone
number). Unfortunately, I can't remember how it
came to be, but she setup both of these blokes in a
fight together.

Whether it's true or not, I don't know. It would also
be a bit risky to do since they could find out where
you're calling from & get your number!

Cheers,
CP/M User.
 

Terry Yager

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carlsson said:
If this story is not a hoax, it is more sad than fun. I read about it on the Register, and it said that since Mike had asked for an amount of money, it practically made his claims invalid, as anyone willing to sell a domain for money does not have genuine interest of the domain anyway.

OTOH, there is a gentleman in California who has filed a patent on how to register Internet domains, and is also according to the Register trying to force Network Solutions and the other big registrars to pay a license fee since they implement his patent. Oh, the great land of freedom.

I read a few years ago about these brothers in Fla. named "Hoag", who opened a Motorcycle shop named "Hoag Bros." They were sued by Harley-Davidson. Apparently, H-D owns the rights to the name Hoag, as well as several other variations including Hawg, Hog, Hogg, etc.

A few years ago a friend of mine named "McDonaugh" bought a donut shop around the corner from where he lived called Novak's Donuts. He decided it would be cute to re-name it "McDonuts". Guess who sent him a nasty letter a few weeks later, thretening to sue him? Yup! The famous McD's, who had registered the tradmark several years earlier. (They actually did test-market McDonuts in a couple of places, but never took them nationwide.)

Then there was "Famous Amos"...

--T
 

CP/M User

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"Terry Yager" wrote:

> I read a few years ago about these brothers in Fla.
> named "Hoag", who opened a Motorcycle shop
> named "Hoag Bros." They were sued by
> Harley-Davidson. Apparently, H-D owns the rights
> to the name Hoag, as well as several other
> variations including Hawg, Hog, Hogg, etc.

> A few years ago a friend of mine named
> "McDonaugh" bought a donut shop around the
> corner from where he lived called Novak's Donuts.
> He decided it would be cute to re-name it
> "McDonuts". Guess who sent him a nasty letter a
> few weeks later, thretening to sue him? Yup! The
> famous McD's, who had registered the tradmark
> several years earlier. (They actually did
> test-market McDonuts in a couple of places, but
> never took them nationwide.)

Yeah, what is up with these companies. Just recently
there was a story here about the a term used here
& came from here for Ug Boots (think that's spelt
right). You guessed it, some Yank company has
made that term a Trade Mark.

A while ago there was the Thelma & Louise cafe
(though I think they got that from the movie). And
another place here called Planet Hollywood (so
where the big Planet Hollywood came around)
they decided it was time to change the name for
this other place.

Geez, I don't know how you Yanks feel about
others using the names, Ug boots is a term which
came from here, so is rightfully ours, but since
we didn't make it ours it was open for anybody
to put a trademark on it, but geez I really hate
it when someone takes their names too seriously.

CP/M User.
 

Terry Yager

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Yeah, seems like a person should always be able to use thier *own* name for thier business, even if by some coincidence, someone else happens to be using that same name for thier business. How can someone own my name, and deprive me of the right to use it, just by virtue of the fact that they registered it before me?

--T

(This thread should prob'ly be moved to the Rants page, seems to have lost it's humor somehow.)
 

Erik

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I don't think it's a rant just yet, but thanks for splitting off the thread into that area. . . :)

Meanwhile, there has been a resolution in the case:

http://www.forbes.com/markets/newswire/2004/01/23/rtr1225377.html

Microsoft settles with teen over Web site
Reuters, 01.23.04, 8:04 PM ET


SEATTLE (Reuters) - In the end, it paid to be Mike Rowe.

The 17-year-old Canadian teenager who caught the attention of Microsoft Corp.'s lawyers by registering www.mikerowesoft.com, agreed Friday to give up his Web site in exchange from some perks from the world's largest software maker.

"We believe he's a bright young man with great potential," Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said, reading from a prepared statement. "Mike will soon decide on his new name and Web site and we have agreed to help redirect any traffic to his new Web site to ensure he does not lose any business."

In exchange, Microsoft will pay for Rowe's expenses, the cost of switching over to a new site, provide training for certification on Microsoft's products, a subscription to Microsoft's developer program Web site, and an Xbox video game console with games, as well as an invitation to bring his parents along for a visit to Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters for an annual technology fair.

The catchy Internet address, which the company felt sounded too similar to "Microsoft" to leave in the hands of the budding Web designer, will eventually stop redirecting traffic, Desler said.

Rowe, who lives in Victoria, British Columbia, more than 50 miles (80 kms) northwest of Redmond, could not immediately be reached for comment.

"All along I just wanted to prove a point that the small guy can win against the giant corporations," Rowe wrote on his his Web site earlier this week.

Microsoft initially took a hard line against the Canadian teenager, offering to pay him only $10 for the incidental cost of giving up his site instead of the $10,000 that he had he demanded.
 

CP/M User

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"Erik" wrote:

> I don't think it's a rant just yet, but thanks
> for splitting off the thread into that area. . . :)

Well it's kind of a joke really, when you think
about it! ;-) Money seems to be something
everyone wants & they don't want others making
money off something else.

> Meanwhile, there has been a resolution in the
> case:

[Microsoft vs. Mikerowesoft snipped]

Interesting story that, I wonder if
http://www.billgates.com pays?

Oh well, I see that site above is valid, but it
could have a simular name, just like
Mikerowesoft!

Cheers,
CP/M User.
 

carlsson

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"Mike will soon decide on his new name and Web site and we have agreed to help redirect any traffic to his new Web site to ensure he does not lose any business."

I really hope they mean the name of the web site and not that Mike Rowe personally has to change his name?! If the latter, that would really be humor (or not, depending on which side you are on).
 

machine

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Messages
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That Thelma and Louise cafe is just a few hundred meters from me here in Sydney. There was a big fuss from the trademark holders of the movie of the same name, but the two women owners refused to budge. Their names were really Thelma and Louise.

Customers poured into their cafe and despite legal requests to change the name, they finally were able to retain it.

Virgin is particularly nasty about their name. They have made scores of businesses give up the Virgin name.

Unfortunately in Australia, a successful trademark application does NOT mean you own the name. It can be challenged at any time and you may be forced to give up the name.
 

Jorg

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Also Budweiser knows about it now. They were about to sponsor the Soccer World Championships in Germany next year.

Unfortunately for them in Europe we have the original Budweiser Budvar brewery, that has been around a bit earlier (about 700 years).

So Anheuser-Busch are not allowed to use the name Budweiser.

Good thing, as the Budvar beer is really one of the best there is.
 
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